Postponed vote on Senate healthcare bill opens new advocacy opportunities
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell postponed an upcoming Senate vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BRCA) following a rough 24 hours for the bill and its supporters. This move shows that opposition to the bill is growing -- our efforts are having an effect. But we can’t let up now. Call your senators today – and implore your friends and relatives to do the same.
As we saw this spring in the House, the repeal effort resurfaced once public opposition and media coverage subsided – and succeeded. The Senate will take up the BRCA again when it returns from the July fourth recess, and that’s why your senators need to hear from you when they’re in their home states over the July fourth holiday. Tell your senators that we need a robust health system that invests in prevention and public health, and expands access to healthcare. Anything less is unacceptable.
Contact your senators by phone and email here. Urge your friends and colleagues to do the same.
Tell your senators why you oppose the BCRA and how future legislation can address the need to expand healthcare coverage and invest in public health and prevention. Here are few talking points to get you started:
- We need greater investment in the community-based resources that support health and equity, instead of the BRCA’s proposal to zero out the Prevention and Public Health Fund and cut the budget of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by 12%.
- Rather than sacrifice healthcare for 22 million Americans to pay for tax cuts for the top 1%, we need to redirect resources toward expanding access to healthcare—especially through the Medicaid expansion that benefits people with disabilities, low-income families, children living in poverty, children with special healthcare needs, and older Americans.
- At a time when maternal mortality – especially among African-American women – is on the rise, we can’t afford to undermine women’s health. That means ensuring that Essential Health Benefits like maternity care and birth control are covered; expanding access to Medicaid, rather than cutting it; and safeguarding access to Planned Parenthood, a provider that one in five women rely on to meet their basic healthcare needs.
- Investing in our healthcare system should include expanding the healthcare workforce. If the BRCA becomes law, it will slash employment in the healthcare industry, harming the economy and throwing millions of people out of work.
- To address the opioid crisis, we need to invest in prevention and treatment. Instead of cutting Medicaid and allowing states to waive regulations that require insurers to cover mental health and substance abuse treatment, we need to expand access to substance abuse treatment and invest in resilient communities: strong social networks, educational and employment opportunities, and access to mental healthcare will help prevent people from misusing opioids in the first place and help support those who are in recovery.